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VIA Rail

lenaitch

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I really don't have an opinion pro/con on the use of bi-levels but I imagine if they did they would have to be reconfigured. In addition to cafe/cafeteria space and space for luggage, I'm not sure commuter-grade seating works for long-haul (it was, what, 11 hours end-to-end?). The recent re-builds of the existing single-levels look quite nice.

ONR recently purchased a couple of used locos and turned them into APUs. I imagine their mindset is to keep their motive power fleet flexible rather than configuring some for passenger and limiting their options.
 

micheal_can

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I really don't have an opinion pro/con on the use of bi-levels but I imagine if they did they would have to be reconfigured. In addition to cafe/cafeteria space and space for luggage, I'm not sure commuter-grade seating works for long-haul (it was, what, 11 hours end-to-end?). The recent re-builds of the existing single-levels look quite nice.

ONR recently purchased a couple of used locos and turned them into APUs. I imagine their mindset is to keep their motive power fleet flexible rather than configuring some for passenger and limiting their options.

They could change out the seats and reconfigure the cars as they see fit. It is the space that might work well for making a better train experience.
 

Bordercollie

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Perhaps VIA could order dome cars like this to replace the stainless fleet?
Railway Gazette International: Rocky Mountaineer announces 'Rockies to the Red Rocks' luxury train.
 

smallspy

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I meant seriously. As in issue an RFI to purchase new ones.

What do you call the process that led to the purchase of the Siemen's equipment then?!? It wasn't serious?

You seem to think that the folks at VIA have been sitting on their hands for the past 30 years. I can assure you that they weren't. They had many plans for getting new (or refurbished) equipment to augment what they had, but every time it was kyboshed by the who are actually in charge - the Government.

Dan
 

Darwinkgo

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Perhaps VIA could order dome cars like this to replace the stainless fleet?
Railway Gazette International: Rocky Mountaineer announces 'Rockies to the Red Rocks' luxury train.
Think you ended up with the wrong link there:
Rocky Mountaineer orders luxury dome cars from Stadler

 

roger1818

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Perhaps VIA could order dome cars like this to replace the stainless fleet?
Think you ended up with the wrong link there:
Rocky Mountaineer orders luxury dome cars from Stadler


They do look nice. Interesting that they seem to be a dinning car on the lower level and have regular seating on the upper. It is also interesting that, unlike Amtrak's Superliners, they don't allow travel between coaches on the upper level. I am guessing they are making each car self contained to remove the need to travel through the train. I assume that could be a modification though for a different customer.

I don't think the Skyline (and Park) cars are VIA's biggest issue on their long distance trains. If they are going to continue to offer long distance service, what they really need is new sleepers.
 

nfitz

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1What do you call the process that led to the purchase of the Siemen's equipment then?!? It wasn't serious?
I was strictly talking about RDCs. Of course the Siemens process was serious.

Have they ever issued an RFI or RFQ for new self-powered cars?

If they are going to continue to offer long distance service, what they really need is new sleepers.
What happened to all the spare Renaissance sleepers? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_(railcar) notes that there were 72 originally, but 29 were never completed and scrapped and 27 are in service. So where are the other 16? (presumably an error on that page)

(looking at https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/VIA_Rail_Canada#Active_Roster_2 I'd guess they got converted to baggage cars)
 
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Bordercollie

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They do look nice. Interesting that they seem to be a dinning car on the lower level and have regular seating on the upper. It is also interesting that, unlike Amtrak's Superliners, they don't allow travel between coaches on the upper level. I am guessing they are making each car self contained to remove the need to travel through the train. I assume that could be a modification though for a different customer.

I don't think the Skyline (and Park) cars are VIA's biggest issue on their long distance trains. If they are going to continue to offer long distance service, what they really need is new sleepers.
I'm sure people can travel between cars on the lower level.
Why do people need to travel between cars on both levels?(If that's what you meant?).
Instead of dining on the lower floor they could be bunks for sleeping. Or on the top with skylights would be nice. Watch the stars while you sleep.
 

roger1818

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I'm sure people can travel between cars on the lower level.

I wouldn't be so sure about that. On the Superliners, the lower level only spans between the trucks since there isn't enough clearance to have two full levels above the trucks.



Why do people need to travel between cars on both levels?(If that's what you meant?).

It isn't.

Instead of dining on the lower floor they could be bunks for sleeping. Or on the top with skylights would be nice. Watch the stars while you sleep.

In the summer skylights would wake you up kind of early. Not sure how many people would want that.
 

EnviroTO

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Seems like a fare structure where travel and accommodation are split out would make the issue of company expense policies go away so easily. There are many railways where base transportation plus upgrades for speed, class, and sleepers is added on.
 

smallspy

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Have they ever issued an RFI or RFQ for new self-powered cars?

The process that resulted in the Siemens order allowed for (and received) a bid of self-propelled cars.

But have they gone through an RFI or RFQ? Not to the best of my knowledge, no. But that's also because this seems to be the first RFI or RFQ (or any sort of open-bidding process) since the process that resulted in the LRC cars in 1981.

That doesn't mean that they haven't bid on cars, self-propelled or not, when given the chance.

Dan
 

roger1818

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What happened to all the spare Renaissance sleepers? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_(railcar) notes that there were 72 originally, but 29 were never completed and scrapped and 27 are in service. So where are the other 16? (presumably an error on that page)

(looking at https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/VIA_Rail_Canada#Active_Roster_2 I'd guess they got converted to baggage cars)

If you look on the Wikipedia page you first linked, it says: "Via rebuilt fifteen of the sleepers into dining and baggage cars." That leaves 1 missing, so there is probably an error somewhere on the Wikipedia page (it also says "Thirty-three carriages never entered service, remaining in store at Thunder Bay." which also doesn't add up).
 

roger1818

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What makes you think that they haven't?

They bid on the lot of 12 RDCs from Dallas.

DART = Dallas Area Rapid Transit

The LRCs were built from day one to support bi-directional operation. That's why they were the first non-commuter equipment in Canada built with pass-through MU lines. That's why they regularly operated with locos at both ends of the consist.

I stand corrected? When did they stop using the LRCs for bi-directional service? I certainly don't remember ever seeing it, but then again I only moved to Ottawa in 1993. Could it have been after they were refurbished the first time? VIA is clear in their Corporate Plan that they had to make them compatible with bi-directional service when refurbishing them most recently.
 

crs1026

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When did they stop using the LRCs for bi-directional service? I certainly don't remember ever seeing it, but then again I only moved to Ottawa in 1993. Could it have been after they were refurbished the first time? VIA is clear in their Corporate Plan that they had to make them compatible with bi-directional service when refurbishing them most recently.

To go back to the beginning, the original LRC order was for ten 1-5-1 trainsets, plus a couple spare locos.

That was the theory. In practice, at existing speeds there was never a need for two locos’ worth of horsepower; operationally many trains did not demand a quick reversable trainset; the fleet was better utilised in a less rigid train length; and, VIA’s conventional loco fleet was falling apart, so the second loco was often better utilised elsewhere to pull a conventional train.

So for that variety of reasons, VIA did not stick to the push-pull format. The second LRC order was for 50 cars and only 10 locomotives.

Over the years, VIA has regularly tacked on a second engine (not necessarily a (now retired) LRC loco, since the subsequent models are equally happy to push as pull) where it’s useful operationally. With the advent of J-trains, and with locomotives being shuffled around the corridor, some very interesting consists can be seen. VIA does what it needs to do, with much flexibility.

The new equipment is intended to operate in fixed consists. We will see if that is successful.

- Paul
 

roger1818

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Thanks for the clarification Paul. So while a few LRC trains may have initially run in 1-5-1 configuration, it was quickly abandoned? That explains a lot.

I have thought for years that the LRC locomotives, would have made great "cabbages." At the time they were retired, VIA didn't seem interested in push-pull operation though, so most were scrapped.
 

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